Thursday, December 23, 2004

...and Tavistock too

Originally uploaded by wjwmorrow.
From Totnes my next stop was Plymouth although I was due to stay with my PhD mentor, Jack Harris, in the little village of Gunnislake, East Cornwall, near the delightful market town of Tavistock.

I left Totnes about noon on a gorgeous mid-December morning. I'd decided to cross over Dartmoor rather than the more obvious direct route through Plymouth. This was definitely the correct decision as the views over the moors were breathtaking and I stopped several times to take photographs. Devon and Cornwall have always held a special romance for me, probably through reading "The Hound of the Baskervilles" and various Daphne Du Maurier books when I was young. But there is also something about beautiful fishing villages. rolling countryside and also (don't ask me to explain this) feats of Victorian engineering such as bridges built by the legendary Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Needless to say I savoured the views of Dartmoor and delighted as the landscape changed from gently rounded hills and dales to the bleak, flat expanse that surrounds the infamous prison.

Tavistock sits on the western edge of the moor. By the time I reached it I was feeling quite peckish and stopped at the Bedford Hotel where I lunched on cod and chips (not to mention the mushy peas -a quintiessentially English side dish which is exactly as it sounds) and a pint of "Jail Ale". Delicious! I really don't understand the bad reputation at the UK food has in the US. Granted Brit Grub is comfort victuals but there's nothing wrong with that on a chilly winter's day.

Having scoffed my lunch I made the short journey to Gunnislake where I was met by Jack who piloted me through the village. My thoughts on the reunion with my former supervisor will be the subject of another post. Until the next episode...


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